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January 25, 2016

Access to Justice and the Future of the Legal Profession

Some Good Food for Thought from Other Disciplines

What do a high-end hotel chain, the medical profession, or behavioral economics have to do with the future of our legal profession? And when it comes to access to justice, what difference does it make?

Being the know-it-alls we tend to be as lawyers and working in a legal system fundamentally framed by precedents and a this is how it’s been done in the past mentality, adapting to change and finding wisdom from outside of the law do not come easy for us. Yet it’s no secret that big changes already are afoot in our profession and are about to accelerate rapidly in the next few years. There’s a lot we can learn from other disciplines that also are confronting a changing world where technology plays an increasingly integral role. While I wasn’t consciously thinking about it in these terms, three seemingly unrelated things I read over the holiday break got me thinking more clearly about the way forward for law and justice.

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January 24, 2016

Senior Center Initiative

Help seniors prepare powers of attorney and living wills in a convenient workshop setting through the Senior Center Initiative, the signature program of the Center for Disability and Elder Law. These documents are a powerful tool in preventing potential abuse and financial exploitation, and give seniors a peace of mind.

Learn how you can help at an upcoming training (1.5 CLE) on February 9th from 4:30-6 pm at 79 W. Monroe. After the training, CDEL has several upcoming volunteer opportunities in February for you to provide these services to seniors.

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January 21, 2016

Legal Aid Committee—Selected Highlights 2015

The CBA Legal Aid Committee—which the CBF staffs—recently published a compilation of highlights submitted by some of the pro bono and legal aid organizations that participate in the Legal Aid Committee. “Legal Aid Committee—Selected Highlights 2015” features news from 27 pro bono and legal aid organizations on: programs and projects; policy changes and legislation; and cases, class actions and systemic litigation. Not all organizations were able to submit highlights, but this compilation provides an overview of some of the great work happening in our community. 

Legal Aid Committee—Selected Highlights 2015

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January 19, 2016

Federal Budget Update: Modest Increases for Legal Aid and Court Funding

As Congress concluded the 2016 budget process in December, there was some modestly good news for access to justice. Thank you to everyone who contacted Senators Durbin and Kirk and your Representative about funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) as the budget process was playing out. With important leadership from the Illinois delegation, LSC received a modest $10 million increase for 2016.

While there is much more work to be done for LSC funding to get to an appropriate level, this was a step in the right direction in the still challenging budget environment in Washington. The federal courts also received a modest funding increase that was largely in line with the Judiciary’s request for this year.

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January 14, 2016

DCFS Expungement Hearings

You can help wrongfully-accused parents and caretakers by attending a Family Defense Center (FDC) training on January 27th from 12 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. at Jones Day (77 W. Wacker).

Volunteers will learn how to represent clients in appeals of unsupported abuse or neglect indicated findings in the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’ Administrative Hearings Unit. These cases afford attorneys the opportunity to conduct a full evidentiary mini-trial within approximately 90 days of a case opening, which can provide invaluable experience for firm associates and solo attorneys with the support of FDC attorneys.

To register, email Sara Gilloon by noon on January 25th.

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January 13, 2016

Take Action: Learn How the Sausage Gets Made

The always entertaining and insightful Larry Suffredin, CBA Legislative Counsel and Cook County Board Commissioner, will give an overview of the Springfield legislative process and current climate on January 25th from 12 pm to 2pm at the CBA, Register for Making Sausage and Legislation here.

After hearing about the ins and outs of Springfield, be sure to save the date for the YLS/CBF Springfield Trip on April 5th and 6th, where you can see firsthand the process at work. More details to come!

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December 16, 2015

I need legal aid, too

I need legal aid, too.

But not in the traditional sense. I am fortunate enough to have a home, a job, and good health. I need legal aid so that the community I live in functions better.

Shortly after I started at the CBF, I was tasked with penning the Campaign in Action blog series. The idea was simple: profile a legal aid organization supported through the CBF’s Investing in Justice Campaign, and give an overview of their legal aid services.

My background, I should note, is not in law, but journalism. I had never paid much attention to the legal system before, let alone legal aid.

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December 15, 2015

Susan Levy to Chair 2016 CBF Investing in Justice Campaign

Susan Levy, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Northern Trust, will lead the CBF’s 10th Annual Investing in Justice Campaign. The Campaign, which kicks off the week of March 7th and runs throughout the month, is an annual campaign where the entire legal community comes together around our common cause as a legal profession helping to […]

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December 14, 2015

Independence Project of the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic

You can provide critical immigration services to survivors of domestic violence through the Independence Project of the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic. Register for a training on January 21st from 3-5 pm at 555 W. Harrison by emailing Ginger Devaney. CLE credit is expected and space is limited, so sign up today!

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December 11, 2015

Take Action: Thank Your County Commissioner

Join us in thanking the Cook County Board of Commissioners for their unanimous vote to support funding for the Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program for another year. Personalized phone calls and emails can go a long way.

Find Your County Commissioner

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